Education

Cheundra Bailey is struggling to find a way to pay for her daughter's high school uniform.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

In New Orleans, many families are living paycheck to paycheck. So when the start of the school year comes around, the added cost of returning to the classroom can be a major burden. 

Dulac, Louisiana, is a 30-minute drive from the nearest grocery store, making it difficult on families who struggle with food security.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

More than half of Louisiana’s public school children get free or reduced-priced meals at school because their families are struggling financially. But when school lets out for the summer, kids still need to eat. And that’s tough on poor families, especially in rural areas. 

Lafayette Academy parents attended a meeting with school officials to get answers about asbestos removal jobs that took place at the school.
Jess Clark / WWNO

Parents at New Orleans charter school Lafayette Academy have lots of questions after an investigation by WWNO revealed issues with asbestos removal at the school in 2017. School officials maintain no children were endangered.

A photo from a 2017 LDEQ report showing an unsecured asbestos containment area at Lafayette Academy Charter School.
Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to include a statement from the Orleans Parish School Board that they were not aware of the March 2017 report from LDEQ, and were not in control of the school or its building at that time.

New Orleans charter school Lafayette Academy has been forced to close its campus after contamination from an asbestos removal job. School district officials have said children weren’t on campus during the work. But state records show this isn’t the first time asbestos removal has been mishandled at Lafayette Academy.

Lafayette Academy parent Tuere Jones expressed frustration with the school's handling of the asbestos problem.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

New Orleans charter school Lafayette Academy is scrambling to find accommodations for next school year after a state inspection revealed the building and yard may be contaminated with asbestos.

The Orleans Parish School Board held its first meeting as head of the new unified school district Thursday night. Nearly all public schools in the parish are under its control for the first time since Hurricane Katrina. But while the district is unified, public opinion is not. 

George Washington Carver High School class of 2018 files in for their graduation ceremony.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

It’s been nearly 13 years since Hurricane Katrina decimated the city and its school system. And a lot has changed since then. Now the city is the first, large school district in the nation where nearly all students attend charter schools. But the reforms are controversial, and have left many wondering, did they work?

Cade Brumley was sworn in as Superintendent of Jefferson Parish Schools.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

Jefferson Parish schools swore in its new superintendent Monday night - former DeSoto Parish schools superintendent Cade Brumley.

Civil rights pioneer Leona Tate takes questions from students in her summer camp.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

School is out for most New Orleans kids, but many of them are still learning at summer camps. Some of them are taking on big topics, like the history of civil rights. At the Leona Tate Foundation For Change camp, students get to interview real leaders in the battle for racial equality. 

Rain clouds gather over Esperanza Charter School in Mid-City. The neighborhood was hard hit during the flooding of August 2017.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

Climate change is bringing more intense weather — more rain, heat and storms. And in New Orleans, extreme weather is disruptive. People park their cars up on curbs, and miss work — and school. It turns out kids missed a lot of school this past year, largely because of aging infrastructure failing during extreme weather.

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